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Old 06-14-2004, 11:30 AM   #1
wrathi
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freebsd newbie questions


Hi, I am thinking about giving FreeBSD a try and have a couple of questions.?

Does FreeBSD have precompiled kernels as slackware and other linux distros have so that you dont have to compile a kernel as I find this easier on dial-up?
I am leaning towards the new technology release 5.2.1 so would that release be alright for a first try of FreeBSD?

Thanks
 
Old 06-14-2004, 11:53 AM   #2
Peacedog
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hi wrathi, wlecome to lq. more than likely you'll have to recompile the kernel to get your sound working. i tried 5.2, i had some problems w/acpi, then settled on 4.10, no problems.
good luck.
 
Old 06-14-2004, 10:50 PM   #3
wrathi
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Hi PEACEDOG and thanks for the welcome. I dont actually use the sound on my laptop (IBM THINKPAD 600E) as I have no need for it. So just to clear things up for me does FreeBSD have precompiled kernel packages?

Thanks
 
Old 06-15-2004, 01:16 AM   #4
chort
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Er, kernel package? I think you're confused on terminology. Yes, FreeBSD has an already compiled kernel that you download in the .ISO image. When you install FreeBSD, it will ask you if you want various pieces of software, all of which exist in pre-compiled packages (but those are software packages, not "kernel packages"). After installing, you may add more software from either pre-compiled packages, or the "ports" system (where you compile it locally).

By the way, I really don't see what compiled vs. source has to do with dial-up. Could you elaborate?
 
Old 06-15-2004, 01:40 AM   #5
frob23
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5.2 should be fine for a first try at FreeBSD.

If you have the iso, you already have all the source needed to rebuild your kernel with sound.

chort, I can understand what he is talking about. Not only are source files larger than binaries (at least most of the time) but then it takes more time to build them. He just wants the quickest way. And packages meets that need.
 
Old 06-15-2004, 02:14 AM   #6
Marble
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You will want to update your source before recompiling. Using the source off the cd is not a wise idea when you can easily update your system to any patches that have been introduced since the iso was made.
 
Old 06-15-2004, 02:47 AM   #7
wrathi
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Hi everyone, thanks for the advice and help but I will try to explain myself a little better this time.

With slackware to get a kernel I just download the precompiled binary package from one of the slack mirrors which is alot quicker (a hell of alot quicker for me anyway ) than dowloading the source myself. I dont mind compiling but its downloading the source that is annoying as for the time it takes, and I would rather just download a binary pkg as for now I have nothing that I really need to compile into a kernel for something to work and ive found the speed to be relatively the same compared to a kernel compiled by myself.
So what I would do:
Download: kernel-ide-2.4.26-i486-2.tgz
Then do: installpkg kernel-ide-2.4.26-i486-2.tgz
Then run lilo and reboot and its done

Anyway thats what I mean by a precompiled pkg. Is there anything like this for FreeBSD?
Thanks again
 
Old 06-15-2004, 05:11 AM   #8
chort
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Well if there's a security update, it's distributed as a patch to existing source, at which point you recompile whatever was affected by the change. If it was the kernel, then you recompile the kernel, if it was some other application, then you recompile that.

The best way to save time is to untar the source off the CD to /usr/src. Now you have what is considered the -RELEASE branch. You can use cvs (usually with cvsup) to update your source to the current patch branch (pay careful attention to which branch you specify in your supfile). Normally this is very little information to download, although it has to check a lot of files. You would recompile your kernel and userland utilities at this point.

From then on if there was a security advisory released, you can either download the source patch (just a diff to the current source, very tiny) or check the advisory to see which files were modified and just cvs update those (following the patch instructions would probably be easiest).

So you see, it doesn't take long at all to download patches after the first time you cvsup. The only part that takes time is recompiling whatever was affected.
 
Old 06-15-2004, 06:51 AM   #9
wrathi
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Thanks chort. That sounds like a great way to do it. I have done it the same way a while back with my slack box I will consider it a little bit more and check out whether my hardware is supported and then decide. Thanks again everyone
 
Old 06-15-2004, 11:42 AM   #10
nazzymac
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i just interjecting any one know to compile bsd kernel for p4
i tried to comment out all other cpu releted values leaving only i66
 
Old 06-15-2004, 12:18 PM   #11
frob23
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Uncommenting all but the i686 line will remove all the fixes from the kernel to get the earlier chips to run right but you are correct... it won't cause the kernel to be compiled specifically for your processor.

You need to edit /etc/make.conf and add the cputype that you want. Read `/usr/share/examples/etc/make.conf` and `man make.conf` to get a better idea of what needs to be done. It is really easy and then you just rebuild the kernel.
 
Old 06-15-2004, 12:20 PM   #12
frob23
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Sorry for the double post. But you will want to add the line:
CPUTYPE=p4
to your /etc/make.conf

But please... don't just do this, read the files I pointed out above. They are good to know.
 
Old 06-15-2004, 03:53 PM   #13
chort
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SFAIK FreeBSD has completely disabled the compiler flags to optimize for certain CPUs, because there were so many bugs with gcc that it resulted in bad object code. Just because you can tinker with something doesn't mean you should. If you have a P4, the likelihood that you would even notice any kind of difference is miniscule, since the CPU is already blazing fast. Save yourself the trouble and just stick with the default compile flags.

One thing you'll notice about the *BSDs (especially OpenBSD) is that they actively discourage "optimization" of the kernel. Why? Because they put a lot of thought into the generic kernel and tweak it to get you the best possible results in 99% of the situations you might encounter. Trying to alter the kernel will most likely result is lower performance, not higher, and then you're on your own because the developers won't look at bug reports you submit from a non-standard kernel.

I know with Linux there is some times a sense that people who tweak their kernels are "l33+", but on BSD people who tweak their kernels are generally considered stupid. No offense, but that's how the *BSD world operates.

I think in the long run you'll discover that concentrating on running your operating system will return much more benefit that concentrating on installing or building the OS.

Many Linux users switch between distros every couple of weeks looking for the "perfect" distro, and all they end up learning is how to install a bunch of distros and how to get the drivers their hardware needs. On the other hand, BSD users generally pick one and just stick with it. They learn how to actually use their system and how to do all their tasks with it, which ends up being much more practical and useful.
 
Old 06-15-2004, 09:53 PM   #14
Marble
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I recomplie my kernel on a new install, but I pretty much leave the example make.conf (which I save to /etc/make.conf) I leave it as is.

One thing I do though is comment out any legacy hardware I know I will never use and also any devices that I know I will never install on this box.

I remember reading about OpenBSD recommending NOT to recompile the kernel, but I find most people do with FreeBSD. Other BSD's don't know. Haven't installed them yet.
 
Old 06-15-2004, 10:18 PM   #15
frob23
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OpenBSD will not offer much support for a specialized kernel... if the problem is related to something that would be in the GENERIC kernel. They don't want you building a kernel unless you really need it -- that way when something breaks they can find the problem and solve it sooner.

FreeBSD doesn't include the sound drivers in the GENERIC kernel. Most people using it want sound so they need to build their own. There is a little more support if a specialized kernel breaks but you are going to be asked a lot of specific questions you should know the answer to if you try and get that support.

chort is right, just because it is possible for set the optimization doesn't mean it is a good idea. You won't need to do it for the most part. If you know you will never use the kernel on other hardware it is safe to comment out the 486, 586 lines because those aren't optimizing anything (they include routines to add functionality to the chips... routines that will never be used on a 686+).

Did you rebuild with the p4 flags or not... sorry, it is hard to tell from what you typed.
 
  


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